Wanted: a UI/UX virtuoso who wants to help change the world

February 7th, 2011 by Terry Jones. Filed under Essence, People.

Image: brandon shigeta

Fluidinfo is an always-writable information layer designed to hold metadata of any type about anything. It has an information model simple enough for everyone to understand – as simple as using Post-it notes. We’ve reached the point in development where we want people as well as applications to be able to create and interact directly with information in Fluidinfo.

Our core and driving passions are based on thinking about how humans work with information: how we find, consume, create, remember, organize, and share. We’re looking for a UI/UX wizard who also thinks and cares deeply about these things, and who has experience and exquisite taste in building elegant and super low-friction interfaces to information. Someone who can tell us what Tufte got wrong, and why.

Most of our computational experiences take place in read-only environments, or ones in which we can only add information in ways that have been anticipated and approved. This read-only world makes working with information using a computer very unlike the way we work with information in the natural world. A read-only world inhibits ad hoc, creative, unanticipated uses of information. It inhibits personalization and customization and therefore effective filtering. It is wrong because it puts information ontology ahead of evolution, inhibiting the natural emergence of information communication conventions like @addressing and hashtags.

With Fluidinfo we’re trying to imagine and build a computational world in which we always have write permission. In which people are free to add information to anything – to personalize and customize, to filter and search on their information and combinations of information. A computational world in which we can collectively make information more valuable by storing it in context.

There’s a huge and challenging UX/UI component to this. We believe humans are actually very good at working with raw information. It’s applications that are confusing. Part of our challenge is to create an interface to anything (i.e., in a web of things sense) and to do so in as transparent a manner as possible.

We’ve been thinking about these ideas for years and have built Fluidinfo as a platform to support this kind of simple and always-writable information storage. Now we want to put a face on it and we’re looking for someone truly great to join us.

About Fluidinfo Inc.

Fluidinfo is an angel and VC backed start-up based in New York, which is where we want you. (Our development team is currently distributed.) We have a world-class set of investors, including: Betaworks, IA Ventures, RRE Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Chris Dixon and the Founder Collective, Esther Dyson, Tim O’Reilly, Joshua Schacter, Michael Parekh, and Andrew Rasiej.

We’ve been quietly working on architecture since our seed funding in 2010, but are now starting to show the world the kinds of things we want to enable. Just for a small taste, read about the writable API we recently built for BoingBoing in a single evening, or how to use Fluidinfo to put metadata onto tweets. To get a flavor of what Fluidinfo is aiming at, see Truly Social Data, Information. Naturally, Fluidinfo as a universal metadata engine, and Kaleidoscope: 10 takes on Fluidinfo.

We also have some exciting news coming up on Feb 14 at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference in NY, so keep an eye out for that too.

About you

We’re not going to tell you in detail what skills you need, because you’ll hopefully know that better than we do.

As a guideline though, in terms of technology for UI, we’re mainly interested in things built using ubiquitous web tools and standards like HTML5 and Javascript. We’re less keen on Flash, and cannot stomach heavyweight proprietary UI platforms. Anything that requires a clunky download is a non-starter. We do everything with Linux and will be very happy if you know your way around that world too. Experience with mobile or desktop UI/UX will also be valuable.

The three most important things we’re looking for are, in order of importance: 1) brilliance in UX/UI thought and execution; 2) proficiency in building dynamic web content with Javascript / modern HTML etc; 3) graphic design skill or experience working with graphic design teams to convert working prototypes into beautiful products. 1 and 2 are much more important than 3.

Above all though, you need to be able to show us interactive interfaces you’ve built or designed, be passionate about UI/UX, and be able to talk convincingly and in depth about what makes things work and not work.

Hiring process

To apply, send email to jobs at fluidinfo dotcom and include:

  • An outline of why you’d like to join Fluidinfo
  • A CV
  • Pointers to your previous work
  • Names and contact details of at least two references

Hiring will involve initial telephone/skype interviews, to be followed by in-person interview(s).